Corran Antilles is having a bad life. Schlepping cargo for the Federation doesn't pay. Even worse, the corporate hauler assigned to him malfunctions inside Trevithick Station. Before Corran's ship trouble costs him his life, he's able to land, but at the price of his job. Down on his luck, with no money and no way to get home, Corran thinks he’s hit the jackpot when a stranger approaches and offers him the chance of a lifetime. But of course, nothing in the Federation is free, and there's always a catch.
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This maybe the last of the FREE published stories that I've won an award for so pay attention! Below is CHAPTER 5 of "Dangerous Gamble".
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Last we saw Corran, he'd met up with Aurellio Crown and found out from Dalton (the bartender at the Star and Garter) that their predicament was all about a bet. Imperials vs. Ferderation. This is our conclusion to the story!
An Elite Dangerous FanFic
© 2015 S.N.McKibben
6 Months Later
“Corran! Get over here!” Aurellio yelled over the comm. “He’s here, and he’s with that snooty CEO.”
“I’m almost there!” I shot back.
My new Viper was a hell of a lot faster than the Sidewinder, but trying to maneuver this thing after honing my circle technique was a bitch. After landing, I ran to the Star and Garter. Skidding to a halt just outside the entrance next to Aurellio, I leaned over to catch my breath.
He held a decanter of Bast snake gin in one hand while peeking inside the bar.
“You first,” I heaved between breaths.
Aurellio didn’t need a second invitation. He strutted over to the table where Felix and Ourora were conducting their business. I listened in and watched a few heads follow my friend and co-conspirator. He didn’t hesitate and walked up to them like an invited guest.
“Felix!” Aurellio set the booze on their table. That was his idea to punctuate his acknowledgement of the indignities he’d overcome during this whole event. “I just wanted to say, thank you for the past.”
Mr. Wulfhart smiled with a knowing pride. If I had to guess, I think Felix had expected Aurellio to confront him about his dangerous gamble.
I pushed off the wall and headed for their table. Ourora looked peeved. She didn’t appreciate the interruption. Too damn bad. I ignored her and stepped up next to Aurellio as he said, “If I’d known you liked Bast snake gin so much, I would’ve spared you the effort.”
“That was not the point,” Felix mused with a know-it-all grin.
“Hello, Mr. Wulfhart,” I said.
Felix flashed me a brilliant smile. His owl-like persona was intensified by the glasses distorting his eyes. “Greetings, Corran. How are you?”
“Very well, thank you, sir.”
Felix beamed at us like a proud father. “How are you liking your new Viper? Faster, isn’t it?”
The weight of Ourora’s murderous glare almost pulled my attention away from the conversation. Thank goodness for Aurellio jabbing me in the gut.
“I wanted to return your Sidewinder. It’s in excellent working order.” Unlike some haulers I’ve flown before. “I’m no longer in need of it.”
“Oh?” Felix said. “The Sidewinder is yours. No need to return it.”
“I appreciate that, sir, but I’d rather you allowed someone else to use it. Preferably someone who’d like to get out of this Federation shithole.”
By the twinkle in the Imperial’s eyes, I’d done something that tickled him pink. “Very well. I’ll do that.”
I stuck out my hand and he shook it.
Aurellio gave a salute, turned and walked off. I followed at first. Then, unable to resist, I turned back and said, “Oh, and sir, if you happen to want a hauler for small cargo or need a bounty hunter, I’m for hire. Unfortunately I don’t take Federation jobs, but I’m willing to drop by if you’re ever in need.”
Felix tilted his head back and let out a triumphant laugh that startled some of the bar’s customers. I could still hear him cackling as we walked out of the bar. Whatever the bet he had with Mrs. Kingsley, I was sure I’d just won it for him—tenfold.
∞ End ∞
This concludes the short story "Dangerous Gamble". Thank you so much for reading!
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